Campus media encouraged to expand into digital platform

Monday, October 29, 2018

Communications Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana has encouraged campus radio stations to expand into the digital platform and continue to churn out dynamic and informative content.

Kekana made the call during a Campus Media Workshop and networking session held at the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) headquarters in Hatfield, Tshwane, on Monday.

The workshop was hosted by the GCIS with an aim of fostering, nurturing and strengthening a relationship between government and campus radio stations.

Kekana said campus stations are not only platforms to engage with students, but they also play a vital role in communities as the majority of campus stations reach listeners in the communities surrounding the university premises.

The Deputy Minister said campus stations are a tool for social cohesion, a budding ground for talent and a critical medium of information sharing.

“We recognise that students are members of the community before they are students, and campus media are equally key and relevant to contribute to the promotion of social cohesion and nation building, as envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP) vision 2030. The advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will continue to have an impact on the media sector at large.

“It is therefore critical for campus media to also embrace the emergence of the digital revolution. This revolution democratised access to news and information. For instance, nowadays, many of us are able to keep up to date with the breaking news through digital tools such as social media, podcasts or webcasts,” the Deputy Minister said.

Digital migration

She said government is committed to ensuring that the country makes a seamless transition from analogue television to digital terrestrial television (DTT).

The migration is in line with the NDP to create a robust, reliable, secure and affordable Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure.

“Broadcast digital migration presents an opportunity to develop the South African audio-visual policy for socio-economic development, wherein the content will not only be broadcast traditionally but also on digital platforms.

“The multichannel environment will also heighten demand for local content. This will ensure that cultural development; freedom of expression, national identity and promotion of social cohesion in South Africa is promoted and developed,” Kekana said.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister also urged community radio stations to get their houses in order so that when government wants to work with them, they are ready.

She said GCIS used to have a challenge with the majority of community radio stations who had issues of non-compliance, including SARS issues.

During the workshop, representatives from campus media also got an opportunity to learn more about GCIS, as officials shared the work of different media units within GCIS.

Kopo Ndhlovu, from Research and Knowledge Management Unit, advised stations to think about their target audience so that the content speaks to them.

“We [Research Unit] try to assists media planners to think about the content, who is it targeted to and for,” Ndhlovu said.

The stations also had an opportunity to ask some questions and share challenges they are facing, including the amount of time it takes to get permits and extensive documents to submit.

The workshop ended with a tour at the Union Buildings and Freedom Park Heritage Museum. –